Drew Thornton's Last Adventure, by Sally Ann Denton

There are a million excuses for police corruption -- that they're underpaid, that they suffer stress, that their wives hate them, that they eat too many donuts, that their kids hate them, and that liberals use them as whipping boys. Read the official reports to hear the dreary recitation of why those who administer the laws never seem to obey them.

Drew Thornton's Last Adventure, by Sally Ann Denton

Postby admin » Mon May 16, 2016 6:24 am

Drew Thornton's Last Adventure
by Sally Ann Denton
The Washington Post
October 20, 1985



The bluegrass hills were vibrant under the strong September sun as hundreds made their way past the Bourbon County gravesite. The mourners, by most accounts, made up a Who's Who in Kentucky aristocracy, a crowd of lawyers, socialites and politicians. Thirteen floral arrangements decorated the rural cemetery, including one from the deceased's most recent girlfriend, signed, "I will always love you, Rebecca."

It was also a crowd of police, horse breeders and gamblers, mingling with some shadowy hangers-on. Harold Slone, a Lexington attorney who recently pleaded guilty to federal income tax violations and mail fraud -- an old friend and law partner of Thornton's -- was there. So was James Lambert, once a prominent Lexington businessman who is now awaiting sentencing on a recent federal cocaine distribution conviction.

They were paying their last respects to Andrew Carter Thornton II, who had single-handedly summed up the dark side of the American dream, or at least the Kentucky version of it, when he landed on a Knoxville, Tenn., driveway with several million dollars worth of cocaine strapped to his waist and a failed parachute strapped to his back. He was 40 when he died.

"He Thornton was very fond of the words of the Oriental philosopher who said, 'Man can overcome any obstacle if he knows in his heart that he must and in his mind that he shall,' " the Rev. Cliff Pike of the tiny Episcopal church in Paris, Ky., said in his eulogy. That was indeed Thornton's credo, according to those who knew him best.

When he hit the driveway on Sept. 10, shortly after abandoning a Cessna twin-engine 404 (which would crash unmanned against a mountain in North Carolina), Thornton was wearing a bulletproof vest, special night vision goggles, a Browning 9 mm automatic pistol, a .22-caliber pistol and several clips of ammunition. He had with him survival gear, a stiletto, $4,500 in cash, six gold Krugerrands, food rations and vitamins, a compass, an altimeter, identification papers in two different names, a membership card to the Miami Jockey Club and the key to the airplane. His Army duffel bag contained 34 football-sized bundles of cocaine that were marked "USA 10."

In his pocket were three epigrams. One read: "There is only one tactical principle not subject to change: it is to inflict the maximum amount of wounds, death and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time."

Perhaps more than anyone, Thornton would have appreciated the absurdity of his death. He felt smug in his survivability, his elusiveness, his discretion and his insulation. He flaunted his soldier-of-fortune ideology, his professional connections, his sky-diving exploits, his macho command of weaponry and spy gadgetry.

"He believed he was an 'impeccable warrior,' " said Betty Zairing, Thornton's former wife, referring to a term penned by mystical author Carlos Castaneda. "He was a philosophical, incredibly disciplined, extremely spiritual and loyal warrior, with his own code of ethics, who thrived on excitement."

Others who knew him say he thrived on vengeance and murder.

Sunday, April 15, 1962

As I was getting ready to leave, I decided to ask him once more about the enemies of a man of knowledge. I argued that I could not return for some time, and it would be a good idea to write down what he had to say and then think about it while I was away.

He hesitated for a while, but then began to talk.

"When a man starts to learn, he is never clear about his objectives. His purpose is faulty; his intent is vague. He hopes for rewards that will never materialize, for he knows nothing of the hardships of learning.

"He slowly begins to learn -- bit by bit at first, then in big chunks. And his thoughts soon clash. What he learns is never what he pictured, or imagined, and so he begins to be afraid. Learning is never what one expects. Every step of learning is a new task, and the fear the man is experiencing begins to mount mercilessly, unyieldingly. His purpose becomes a battlefield.

"And thus he has stumbled upon the first of his natural enemies: Fear! 'A terrible enemy -- treacherous, and difficult to overcome. It remains concealed at every turn of the way, prowling, waiting. And if the man, terrified in its presence, runs away, his enemy will have put an end to his quest."

"What will happen to the man if he runs away in fear?"

"Nothing happens to him except that he will never learn. He will never become a man of knowledge. He will perhaps be a bully, or a harmless, scared man; at any rate, he will be a defeated man. His first enemy will have put an end to his cravings."

"And what can he do to overcome fear?"

"The answer is very simple. He must not run away. He must defy his fear, and in spite of it he must take the next step in learning, and the next, and the next. He must be fully afraid, and yet he must not stop. That is the rule! And a moment will come when his first enemy retreats. The man begins to feel sure of himself. His intent becomes stronger. Learning is no longer a terrifying task.

"When this joyful moment comes, the man can say without hesitation that he has defeated his first natural enemy."

"Does it happen at once, don Juan, or little by little?"

"It happens little by little, and yet the fear is vanquished suddenly and fast."

"But won't the man be afraid again if something new happens to him?"

"No. Once a man has vanquished fear, he is free from it for the rest of his life because, instead of fear, he has acquired clarity -- a clarity of mind which erases fear. By then a man knows his desires; he knows how to satisfy those desires. He can anticipate the new steps of learning, and a sharp clarity surrounds everything. The man feels that nothing is concealed.

"And thus he has encountered his second enemy: Clarity! That clarity of mind, which is so hard to obtain, dispels fear, but also blinds.

"It forces the man never to doubt himself. It gives him the assurance he can do anything he pleases, for he sees clearly into everything. And he is courageous because he is clear, and he stops at nothing because he is clear. But all that is a mistake; it is like something incomplete. If the man yields to this make-believe power, he has succumbed to his second enemy and will fumble with learning. He will rush when he should be patient, or he will be patient when he should rush. And he will fumble with learning until he winds up incapable of learning anything more."

"What becomes of a man who is defeated in that way, don Juan? Does he die as a result?"

"No, he doesn't die. His second enemy has just stopped him cold from trying to become a man of knowledge; instead, the man may turn into a buoyant warrior, or a clown. Yet the clarity for which he has paid so dearly will never change to darkness and fear again. He will be clear as long as he lives, but he will no longer learn, or yearn for, anything."

"But what does he have to do to avoid being defeated?"

"He must do what he did with fear: be must defy his clarity and use it only to see, and wait patiently and measure carefully before taking new steps; he must think, above all, that his clarity is almost a mistake. And a moment will come when he will understand that his clarity was only a point before his eyes. And thus he will have overcome his second enemy, and will arrive at a position where nothing can harm him anymore. This will not be a mistake. It will not be only a point before his eyes. It will be true power.

"He will know at this point that the power he has been pursuing for so long is finally his. He can do with it whatever he pleases. His ally is at his command. His wish is the rule. He sees all that is around him. But he has also come across his third enemy: Power!

"Power is the strongest of all enemies. And naturally the easiest thing to do is to give in; after all, the man is truly invincible. He commands; he begins by taking calculated risks, and ends in making rules, because he is a master.

"A man at this stage hardly notices his third enemy closing in on him. And suddenly, without knowing, he will certainly have lost the battle. His enemy will have turned him into a cruel, capricious man."

"Will he lose his power?"

"No, he will never lose his clarity or his power."

"What then will distinguish him from a man of knowledge?"

"A man who is defeated by power dies without really knowing how to handle it. Power is only a burden upon his fate. Such a man has no command over himself, and cannot tell when or how to use his power."

"Is the defeat by any of these enemies a final defeat?"

"Of course it is final. Once one of these enemies overpowers a man there is nothing he can do."

"Is it possible, for instance, that the man who is defeated by power may see his error and mend his ways?"

"No. Once a man gives in he is through."

"But what if he is temporarily blinded by power, and then refuses it?"

"That means his battle is still on. That means he is still trying to become a man of knowledge. A man is defeated only when he no longer tries, and abandons himself."

"But then, don Juan, it is possible that a man may abandon himself to fear for years, but finally conquer it."

"No, that is not true. If he gives in to fear he will never conquer it, because he will shy away from learning and never try again. But if he tries to learn for years in the midst of his fear, he will eventually conquer it because he will never have really abandoned himself to it."

"How can he defeat his third enemy, don Juan?"

"He has to defy it, deliberately. He has to come to realize the power he has seemingly conquered is in reality never his. He must keep himself in line at all times, handling carefully and faithfully all that he has learned. If he can see that clarity and power, without his control over himself, are worse than mistakes, he will reach a point where everything is held in check. He will know then when and how to use his power. And thus he will have defeated his third enemy.

"The man will be, by then, at the end of his journey of learning, and almost without warning he will come upon the last of his enemies: Old age! This enemy is the cruelest of all, the one he won't be able to defeat completely, but only fight away.

"This is the time when a man has no more fears, no more impatient clarity of mind -- a time when all his power is in check, but also the time when he has an unyielding desire to rest. If he gives in totally to his desire to lie down and forget, if he soothes himself in tiredness, he will have lost his last round, and his enemy will cut him down into a feeble old creature. His desire to retreat will overrule all his clarity, his power, and his knowledge.

"But if the man sloughs off his tiredness, and lives his fate through, he can then be called a man of knowledge, if only for the brief moment when he succeeds in fighting off his last, invincible enemy. That moment of clarity, power, and knowledge is enough."

-- The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, by Carlos Castaneda

Thornton was raised on Threave Main Stud, a thoroughbred horse farm in picturesque Bourbon County. The oldest son of Carter and Peggy Thornton (a brother and sister still live in central Kentucky), he was guaranteed induction into Kentucky's blue-blood society. A secretary for Threave Main Stud said Thornton's parents are "burned out on talking to the press" and had nothing more to add.

Thornton was educated at Sayre in Lexington, a private elementary school, and attended Sewanee Military Academy, a prestigious Tennessee institution. Unlike many children of privilege in the 1960s, he was not drawn to the rebellious style of the decade. After graduation from Sewanee in 1962, he joined ROTC and attended one semester at the University of Kentucky. He quit school to join the Army, and often often spoke of his training as a paratrooper for the Army's 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., and of being awarded a Purple Heart for service in the 1965 U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic.

Thornton's life began to take several directions. He made a second stab at college in 1966 but dropped out after a year. He worked for his father, training racehorses, before joining the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Police Department in 1968. At night, he attended Eastern Kentucky University and in 1971 received a degree in law enforcement.

As a policeman "Drew" arrested University of Kentucky students protesting the Vietnam war, and in the early 1970s he became a member of the Lexington police department's first narcotics squad, working with the Drug Enforcement Administration's regional office in Louisville. Says former DEA agent Larry Lakin: "DEA worked with Drew on many occasions in narcotics, and sometimes on a weekly basis." The affiliation between Thornton and the DEA intrigues cops who try to understand Thornton's shift from narc to drug smuggler.
DEA agent Robert Brightwell, who says he worked with Thornton on narcotics investigations in the early 1970s, describes him as "an 007 paramilitary type personality . . . an adventurer driven by adrenaline rushes" who became bored with being a cop.

Thornton attended law school at night and received his law degree in 1976. (He later joined the Lexington law firm of an old friend, Harold Slone, but he never actually practiced law.) He was a daring pilot, a master of martial arts who boasted of killing a German shepherd with his bare hands, and an expert sky diver -- famous among jumpers for "pulling low," or releasing the chute at below 2,000 feet.

According to friends, he died a millionaire.

To friends, Thornton was a man of loyalty, religious conviction, enchanting charm, keen intelligence and supreme self-confidence. To enemies, he was ruthless, egotistical, amoral -- driven by an ego so fragile he overcompensated with machismo.

When Betty Zairing met Thornton, he was training racehorses and thinking of becoming a policeman. She was a university coed, a beauty from Shelby County. "I fell in love with him as a romantic hero," she says. "He was recuperating from wounds he had received in the Dominican Republic, where he had really come into his own as a paratrooper."

They were married in July 1968; a month later he joined the police force. "He was a trained warrior -- a very efficient killer trained by the U.S. government," she says. "He went onto the police force so he could do battle. He was happiest when he was on the cutting edge, when he tested himself."

Zairing describes Thornton as a loving, supportive and gentle husband. "He loved me," she says, "but he resented having a wife." As a policeman, Thornton would meet "with Mafia hit men from Detroit who had contracts on him," she said. "We both realized it wasn't a life I felt comfortable with." Zairing said that the closer Thornton moved toward a James Bond character, the less she was able to relate to him, to live with the secrecy and danger of his life as a narc. She said Thornton had trouble reconciling the paradoxes of his life.

He told her horror stories about U.S. military operations in Vietnam, she says. "He had trouble understanding that." They were divorced in 1970, and neither remarried. "We kept in touch," she says. "Andrew always made sure I had whatever I needed."

E. Allen Prichard, a Charlotte, N.C., attorney who was a boyhood acquaintance of Thornton's, describes him as the son of a decent, hard-working family, who had the benefit of the finest upbringing. Prichard and Thornton were fellow acolytes at St. Peter's Episcopal church and car-pooled to Sayre School.

"I never saw any indication of innate motivation for his life on the razor's edge," Prichard says. "There was absolutely nothing startling about Andrew's youth that would be a prologue to the current circumstances. He had the usual quotient of decency, fun-loving mischief."

A fellow police officer describes Thornton as an "edge walker" -- a thrill seeker motivated by danger. "As a policeman, Andrew could walk the edge only so long before it became routine. Drug smuggling was a natural transition for him. He was a "Starsky & Hutch" type of cop -- he drove fast cars, popped in and raided people. He was as flamboyant in his life as he was in his death."

"He was a little boy who never grew up," says an FBI agent investigating his death, who asked to remain nameless.

Thornton subscribed to a code of independence; his society was one in which individuals perfected their survival skills through self-defense. Anticipating a nuclear holocaust, he stockpiled paramilitary weapons, freeze-dried foods, gold coins. He wore camouflage fatigues and swastikas and bulletproof vests, and talked about eyes for eyes and teeth for teeth. He considered himself a free-lance military adviser of sorts, siding with anticommunists around the world -- the Salvadoran government, the Nicaraguan contras, South African industrialists.

He had become increasingly paranoid. He surrounded Triad, the isolated Jessamine County farm that he owned, with concertina wire, setting up barracks and digging trenches, according to Kentucky State Police. "Thornton's farm was the subject of aerial and ground surveillance several times following reports that Thornton was operating a guerrilla warfare training camp for mercenaries," according to Sgt. Ralph Ross, a retired Kentucky State Police officer formerly in charge of the state's intelligence division. Thornton consistently maintained that nothing illegal occurred on his farm.

For years, Thornton pursued his avocation of preparing himself and others for Armageddon.
His problems began in 1981, with the arrest of one of his aristocratic connections, Bradley Bryant.

Like Thornton, Bryant was a native son of the horsy set, the grandson of a Lexington mayor. They were lifelong friends; they traveled in the same social circles and attended the Sewanee Military Academy together. Bryant had been the best man at Thornton's wedding. In 1977 Bryant formed a private security company called Executive Protection Ltd. He cultivated and recruited police from around the United States. Thornton resigned from the Lexington police department that year and joined Bryant in the new venture.

In 1981, Bryant was arrested in a hotel in Philadelphia when maids smelled marijuana smoke coming from his room. In Bryant's possession at the time of his arrest was a cache of semiautomatic weapons, disguises, more than 10 fraudulent Kentucky driver's licenses and $22,000 in cash. His notebook contained the names and addresses of several Lexington men, including Thornton, as well as references to planned operations with names such as "Blue Fin."

Bryant initially told police he was involved in a clandestine CIA assignment. He later retreated from that story but continued to create the impression he was sanctioned by the CIA. Within days of his arrest, several federal agencies joined the investigation, and a few months later 25 individuals were indicted in Fresno, Calif., and charged with conspiracy to import and distribute marijuana and to steal government property from the China Lake Naval Base.

Thornton was one of nine Kentucky men named in that indictment, which was handed down amid hints that a larger drug-smuggling conspiracy existed. He was charged with piloting into the Lexington airport a DC4 loaded with tons of marijuana.

Thornton remained a fugitive for several months. But after U.S. Customs agents seized a 56-foot converted mine sweeper carrying 1,500 pounds of marijuana off the Louisiana coast -- and discovered that a machine gun on board belonged to Thornton -- the search intensified. After his apprehension, U.S. marshals transported Thornton to Fresno for his arraignment, where he posted $75,000 in cash and a $1 million personal surety bond, secured by his interest in three racehorses.

He returned to Kentucky to await trial, and on Feb. 27, 1982, three days before he was scheduled to appear for a hearing in Fresno, Thornton was shot twice in the chest at close range as he was leaving a Lexington restaurant. The .38-caliber "wadcutter" bullets didn't penetrate his bulletproof vest. Police concluded the shooting had been staged by Thornton to persuade the California judge that his life would be endangered should he be incarcerated.

He ultimately pleaded no contest to marijuana conspiracy charges, and received a six-month sentence at a minimum-security facility in Lexington; Bryant is currently serving a 15-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institute in Memphis. One case among the remaining 23 indictments was dismissed; the other defendants were either convicted or became government witnesses.

In the three years following his conviction, Thornton was sought by various jurisdictions for questioning, usually in connection with what police termed vendetta deaths -- with all the victims connected to various Thornton enterprises. Gene Berry, a Florida state's attorney, was murdered at point blank range Jan. 16, 1982, when he opened the door to his Punta Gorda residence; he had successfully prosecuted one of Thornton's Fresno codefendants. Robert S. Walker, a witness against Thornton in the case, was found strangled in a swamp in Tampa. The man who informed Customs of Thornton's involvement with the Louisiana smuggling vessel had his throat slit in Miami.

The death that best summed up the contradictions of the sort of life Thornton led, all the philosophical and cultural reversals, was that of Harold Wade Brown, former head of the DEA office in Kentucky. Brown was perhaps Thornton's closest friend for many years, until he was found shot to death in his Louisville home last year -- an apparent suicide, according to a coroner's inquest.

Their association began in the early 1970s when Thornton worked closely with the DEA. Brown's forced resignation from the DEA in 1981 came just six months before his retirement eligibility. The federal grand jury in Fresno investigated charges that Brown had thwarted the probe of the DC4 piloted by Thornton.

A search of a cabin Brown owned in Dead Horse Hollow uncovered a laboratory for manufacturing a poison that was sold on the streets as cocaine, according to Black. When police searched Thornton's Lexington town house last month, similar exotic poisons and explosives were among the items seized, including ether, nicotine, sodium and ammonium nitrate, and tear gas.

Back to Enterprise where George Bush, Sr. and Col. Oliver North used connections to Dixie Mafia as their sole importation-distribution source for cocaine smuggled into America. Forging a relationship with the Devil under the guise they were funding covert wars against Communist aggression, the network expanded rapidly with official protection of United States government law enforcement agencies.

In February 1990, I was recruited by the FBI to work undercover in the VANPAC case (Vance Politicial Assassination Conspiracy Case).

The letter below is my secret marked-up copy of the August 1989 Declaration of War Letter sent to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Media in 11 U.S. cities, confiscated and hidden from public view by the FBI.

Judge Robert Vance of Birmingham was the first to die on December 16, 1989, in a wave of political assassinations by Dixie Mafia soldiers. Dixie Mafia terrorists threatened to launch nerve gas attacks upon U.S. cities, and the threat was real. The typewriter that typed this letter came from my hometown of Enterprise, Alabama; there were 2 more typewriters used by the bombers in the attacks. The FBI has continued to shield the fact from public exposure that the letters were mailed from various cities on the same day. The official version has always been that a lone racist nut who sits on death row was behind the bombing.


-- Inside the Dixie Mafia: Politics of Death, by John Caylor

"They were cowboys," said a friend of both Thornton and Brown, who asked that his name not be used. "They shared the same mentality, the same paranoia. They weren't in it for the money alone." This man had known Brown and Thornton for many years, had watched them go from one side of law enforcement to the other. He considers it almost reasonable, suggesting that neither ever left the DEA but became smugglers to better infiltrate narcotics organizations. The irony is lost on him. "Either side," he said, "they were working for America."

Betty Zairing says Thornton thought of himself as a purist, an innocent. She recalls that over lunch last summer, she asked Thornton how he justified the violence, the paradoxes of his life. Thornton replied, she remembers, that he meditated regularly, at which time he entered a world beyond good and evil. He told her he was of a hero consciousness, that at another time in history he would have been a Genghis Khan, a ninja or a samurai, a valorous paragon of battle.

"He went out like an eagle scout," Zairing says of Thornton's death. "He would have loved the concept of the warriors who fall from the sky."

The SS as a tantric warrior order from Shambhala:

For Serrano the tantric initiation is the central rite of a “hyperborean” (Nordic) warrior caste. Shambhala counts as the supreme mystery site for the initiation of the “priest-warriors”. “In Shambhala”, the author says, “ the use of the force through which the mutation of the earth and the people can be carried out is taught, and the latter [the people] are introduced into the martial initiation, which makes this possible. ... Those who follow this initiatory stream have struggled to found a new/old order here on the present-day earth which has its roots in the transcendent origins, with the goal of reawakening the golden age, and they will fight on to the end...” (Serrano, 1987, p. 258). [11]

This order is the secret brotherhood of the Shambhala officers, who have for centuries been incarnated in our world — for instance as knights of the holy grail or as Rosicrucians or finally as the occult elite of the SS, Hitler’s notorious Schutz-Staffel. “Once a year”, we learn, “the inner circle of the SS people met with their supreme leaders for a few days of retreat, the solitude, and meditation. A kind of western yoga was practiced here, but nothing is known about it” (Serrano, 1987, pp. 171-172).

According to Serrano the SS were divided into two sections, an inner esoteric one and an outer one. The “exoteric SS” were selected to “be able to deal with the most difficult tasks and adventures in the external world”. “Nothing of the esoteric of the black order, its practices and teachings, its invisible connections and its occult doctrines was known” to them (Serrano, 1987, p. 264). The “inner circle” of the SS consisted of “sun people, supermen, god-men, the total human, the human magician” (Serrano, n.d., p. 96). The esoteric SS were siddhas (magicians) from the underground kingdom of Shambhala, or at least their messengers In German, SS are the initials of the “black sun” (“schwarze Sonne”), and Serrano did also call the members of the order “the men of the black sun”. We are reminded that the planet of darkness, Rahu, which darkens the sun and moon, is also referred to in the Kalachakra Tantra as the black sun.

The author is convinced, of course, that sexual magic rites were practiced in the SS (the “new aristocracy of the Aryan race”). Like Julius Evola before him, the Chilean makes constant references in his writings to how sexuality may be converted into high-quality aggressive military energy and political power through tantric practices: “Come and take me like a warrior!”, a lover (his karma mudra) says to him at one stage in his key novels, “I give you my heart for you to devour. Let us drink our blood”(Serrano, 1982, p. 54). In EL/ELLA the author recommends to heroes initiated into the tantras that “the warrior should give death the face of his lover; the fiery femininity of death will be thus evoked” (Serrano, 1982, p. 87). For Serrano, tantric practices and the cult life of a fascist/esoteric warrior caste are one.

Additionally, the sexual magic of the SS was connected with racial experiments. These aimed at a mutation of the human race, or better, a regaining of the formerly high-standing Aryan god-men who had in the dim and distant past tarnished themselves through “ordinary” sexual intercourse with human women and produced a lesser race. According to Serrano, such experiments were conducted in the Wewelsburg, the occult center of the SS. “Laboratories of leftward magic” for the re-creation of the original, pure Aryan race were to be found there (Serrano, n.d. pp. 488, 589).
But these were nothing more than the above-ground branches of corresponding establishments in subterranean Shambhala. “In Shambhala they attempted to produce a mutation of their kind which would allow them to return to that which they were before their interbreeding with the sons of man...” — when they still had a white, almost transparent body and blonde hair (Serrano, 1982, p. 54).

As Tantrics, the SS were “beyond good and evil” and for this reason their “terrible deeds” were justified by Serrano, plus that they took place at higher cosmic command (Serrano, 1987, p. 331). The “final solution to the question of the gypsies” (many gypsies perished in the concentration camps), for example, is said to have come directly “from Tibet to Hitler, certainly from Shambhala”. The gypsies used to live in Shambhala and had then been driven out of there. “The reasons for this”, says Serrano, “were known in the Tibet of the Dalai Lama” (Serrano, 1987, p. 366).

Just like the Knights Templar, the inner occult core of the SS were incarnations of the guardians of the holy grail, and “the grail of the siddhas [the magicians], of the solar and martial initiations” is to be found in Shambhala (Serrano, 1987, p. 264). The miracles which radiated from the grail were evident in the achievements of the black order in the course of the Second World War: “If one examines the achievements of the followers of Hitler in all areas of creation within a period of just six years, one cannot avoid admiring this miracle and making a comparison with the Templar order. And one comes to believe that the SS have likewise found the grail and even deciphered it” (Serrano, 1987, p. 278). Even the monumental architecture of the Third Reich is supposed to have been prepared on the building sites of Shambhala. The Hyperboreans (the gods of the north), we may read, “emigrated to two secret cities in the Himalayas, Agarthi and Shambhala. ... In Shambhala they practiced the magic of the giants which made the monumental buildings possible” (Serrano, 1982, p. 54).

In the Second World War the forces of light and the “sun race” (Hitler and the SS) stood opposed to the forces of darkness and the “moon race” (the Allies and the Jews). It was no ordinary war, but rather a global battle between the gods (the Nazis, the light Aryan race) and demons (the Jews, the dark Semitic race), between Odin, the highest god of the Germanic peoples, and Jehovah, the highest god of the Jews. The Nordic (hyperborean) heroes fought the “lord of darkness”, the “satanic demiurge”. At heart, Serrano says, the patriarchal and matriarchal powers were at war.

Admittedly Hitler outwardly lost the war, but through his sacrifice and his example he saved the ideals of the warrior caste from Shambhala. He shall return at the head of his “wild army” to finally liberate the white race from the lord of darkness (Jehovah). It will then come to a terrible final battle. “These are the dimensions of Hitler, the envoy of the hyperborean [Nordic] siddhas, the tulku, the Bodhisattva, the Chakravartin, the Führer of the Aryans, so that the demiurge Jehovah has to mobilize all his earthly and extraterrestrial legions” (Serrano, n.d., p. 50).

One may well dismiss Serrano’s visions as the product of an overactive imagination, but it cannot be denied that modern fascism has found a home and a predecessor in the Shambhala myth and in Tantrism. Its mythological conceptions and visions of power can without difficulty be brought into harmony with the practice and political ideology of the Kalachakra Tantra for all fundamental issues. The occult right wing’s move toward Tibetan Buddhism is thus in no way to be understood as the exploitation of the dharma for ignoble purposes, since there is a profound inner relatedness between these two ways of looking at the world.

-- The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism, by Victor and Victoria Trimondi

His rivals don't share this romanticized version. To them, Thornton was a cop gone bad. Nothing more and nothing less. Sally Ann Denton, a former TV and wire service reporter, covered part of the Thornton story in Kentucky. She is a private investigator in Washington.

The Christ image was not the only one which Hitler adopted. He also had a particular fondness for Grail symbols. He put the question to Rauschning: "Should we create an elite of initiates? An order? A religious brotherhood of Templars to guard the Holy Grail, the august vessel containing the pure blood?" The quest for the Holy Grail is another of those talismans for the occultists, and Lanz and List, of course, had helped to kindle an interest in the real meaning of the Grail legend. The Grail, to the occultist, is a symbol for hidden knowledge. According to Ravenscroft, Hitler told Dr. Stein that he visualized the Grail "as a path leading from unthinking dullness, through doubt, to spiritual awakening," and that there were "ascending grades on the way to the achievement of higher levels of consciousness, disclosing the meaning of the heraldry and armorial insignia of the Knights, which he interpreted as representing the various stages they had attained in the quest for the Grail."

He went through an elaborate explanation of the various creatures which symbolized the different degrees, the highest being the eagle, emblem of the initiate who had attained the highest powers and faculties of which man was capable, and was at last in a position to "assume a world-historic destiny." Hitler went on to say: "The real virtues of the Grail were common to all the best Aryan peoples. Christianity only added the seeds of decadence such as forgiveness, self-abnegation, weakness, false humility, and the very denial of the evolutionary laws of survival of the fittest, the most courageous and talented."

No one could accuse Hitler of false humility. Stephen H. Roberts, the Australian journalist, describes colored pictures which he saw displayed in Munich for a short time in the autumn of 1936: "of Hitler in the actual silver garments of the Knight of the Grail." Roberts believes they were withdrawn from circulation because "they gave the show away ... were too near the truth of Hitler's mentality."

By then, Hitler's view of the Jew as the enemy of the light had bedazzled the whole country. It was the Jew who had to be cleared out of the way before the new man could arise. Lanz had proposed extermination as the most expedient way to do it. Sebottendorff, in the March 10, 1920, issue of the Beobachter, had been more ambiguous. He proposed, as an Endziel ("final goal"): MACHT GANZE ARBEIT MIT DEM JUDEN! ("CLEAN OUT THE JEWS ONCE AND FOR ALL!") by resorting to the "most ruthless measures, among them concentration camps" (Sammellager) and "sweeping out the Jewish vermin with an iron broom."

Like his teachers, Hitler saw the Jew as the embodiment of all evil, but among the qualities he considered evil were virtues such as intellect, conscience, intelligence, and pursuit of absolute truth. As he told Rauschning:

We are now at the end of the Age of Reason. The intellect has grown autocratic, and has become a disease of life. . . .

Conscience is a Jewish invention. It is a blemish, like circumcision.

A new age of Magic interpretation of the world is coming, of interpretation in terms of the Will and not the intelligence.

There is no such thing as truth, either in the moral or in the scientific sense. The new man would be the antithesis of the Jew.

The new man, Hitler told Rauschning, would be a mutation, a different biological species altogether from homo sapiens as we know him. This, Hitler believed, was the real seductive power of nazism. So fierce and terrible would the new men be that ordinary humans would hardly be able to look them in the face; they would be the true aristocracy, and all others would be subjects. With the coming of the new man, the inequality that exists in human life would be heightened. This was Hitler's antidote to democracy: the restoration of insurmountable barriers between two breeds of people, as he presumed to have existed in ancient great civilizations. Only Germans would have rights. Hitler had come to free them from "the dirty and degrading chimera called conscience and morality, and from the demands of a freedom and personal independence which only a very few can bear." They would be beyond good and evil. He would liberate them from "the burden of free will." He opposed "with icy clarity" the significance "of the individual soul and of personal responsibility. " Judging from Hitler's popularity, the suffering masses apparently found relief in this message.

Here, again, the voice of the occultist may be heard. Since Darwin, esoteric groups have talked in terms of a mutation, though generally none but Satanists have perceived the new man as amoral.

-- Gods & Beasts: The Nazis and the Occult, by Dusty Sklar

Tille saw Nietzsche as an 'evolutionary ethical utilitarian'. Indeed, he believed, talking of Thus Spake Zarathustra, that 'With this book of Nietzsche's, Darwin's great and dominant theory of evolution is for the first time related clearly and unclouded by reigning ethical notions to contemporary mankind and to the future development of mankind.' [14] Baldly stated, Nietzsche confirmed what Darwin's theory of evolution implied: that men are not all born equal (p. 21). As a consequence, socialist and humanist theories based on the opposite, Rousseauesque assumption that all men are born equal must be overthrown in favour of one that will secure the future of the race by following the laws of evolution, in which the healthy and strong promote an upwards development, and the ill and weak disappear (pp. 22; 235). Socialist leaders such as August Bebel who try to base their utopian ideals on readings of Darwin are misguided, for they have failed to see that Darwinism is an aristocratic principle: 'it is based on the "selection of the best'" (p. 164), the Ubermensch, 'that born hero, who through his physiological aptitude stands beyond good and evil, and knows only the difference between good and bad' (p. 220). According to Tille, Nietzsche understands perfectly well 'how a species [Art] in the Darwinian sense emerges, and on this knowledge he bases his theory of the breeding of an aristocratic race' (p. 221).

-- Breeding Superman: Nietzsche, Race and Eugenics in Edwardian and Interwar Britain, by Dan Stone
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Re: Drew Thornton's Last Adventure, by Sally Ann Denton

Postby admin » Mon May 16, 2016 6:25 am

Andrew C. Thornton, II
by Wikipedia



Andrew Carter Thornton II (1945–1985) was a former narcotics officer and lawyer who became the head member of "The Company", a drug smuggling ring in Kentucky. The son of Carter and Peggy Thornton of Threave Main Stud farm in southern Bourbon County, Kentucky. Thornton grew up living a privileged life in the Lexington, Kentucky area and attended the prestigious private Sayre School and the Iroquois Polo Club along with other Lexington blue bloods. He later transferred to Sewanee Military Academy and then joined the army as a paratrooper.[1] After quitting the army, he became a Lexington police officer[2] on the narcotics task force. He then attended the University of Kentucky Law School. During his tenure, he began smuggling.[3]

After resigning from the police in 1977, Thornton practiced law in Lexington.[1]

Four years later he was among 25 men accused in Fresno, California, in a theft of weapons from the China Lake Naval Weapons Center and of conspiring to smuggle 1,000 pounds of marijuana into the United States.[1] Thornton left California after pleading not guilty and was arrested as a fugitive in North Carolina, wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a pistol.[1] He pleaded no contest in Fresno to a misdemeanor drug charge and the felony charges were dropped.[1] He was sentenced to six months in prison, fined $500, placed on probation for five years, and had his law license suspended.[1]

My third day in town Neal and I are heading down U.S. 1 in his old Camaro with Neal smoking a joint, and right through an intersection two cops pull us over. Neal looked about as Colombian as you can get, dark tan and long ponytail hair, he fit the part we later called the "profile." All the women loved him, because he was cool.

As the cops approach Neal’s side of the car, I’m about to go in my pants because Neal’s still smoking the joint. Then this cop sticks his head in the car and says, "Neal Ol’ Buddy, got any extra smoke, me and my partner here are entertaining some ladies tonight and we need a few joints."

Neal smiles and says how about 2 bags of fresh gold? By now the cops are smiling as Neal reaches under his seat and pulls out 2 large plastic bags of Colombian Gold for them. The other cop says what do we owe ya? Neal just looks at them and says my pleasure! Away they go and so do we, I’m sitting there thinking, what’s the family coming to, dope dealers, this ain’t our way, maybe it’s just his own recreational stash Neal’s messing with?

A few weeks later, Neal’s laying out of work all day at home and I’m making friends with the Cubans at work who used to be somebody in Havana until Fidel came along. One of the guys who was a big time lawyer in Havana, tried to get me to join the Cuban Revolutionary Army, who were playing weekend soldier over in the Glades, compliments of our CIA.

One Tuesday night I arrived home to a house strewn with garbage, from Neal’s new puppy and Neal’s just getting up. I want to know why he doesn’t clean up the mess and why he isn’t working and he’s screwing around all night?

Next thing I know, he says, "Come on let’s take a drive, I want to show you something. Ten blocks away we step out of his Chevy Camaro and walk down the sidewalk into this apartment complex right to the middle of it.

There at apartment 26, Neal knocks at the door and says, "Hey Manny, it’s me man, Neal." The door opens and there sits this ugly little Spanish guy with a sawed off-shotgun

Pointed right in my face. I’m about to freak out, Neal tells him it’s okay; I’m his cousin John from Enterprise. Inside the 2-bedroom apartment, the living room is empty except for a rocking chair, stereo, fish tank, small couch and a table with a cash box on it and the shotgun.

Neal says, "John, don’t worry me, man, I’m doing fine at work, making lots of money." and he then takes me to bedroom one, cracks the door open and there from the floor to the ceiling were bricks of Colombian Gold. There wasn’t a foot or more of space left in the whole damn bedroom. Crap, the other one was filled the same from the floor to the ceiling. I couldn’t even use the bathroom because it was filled up too.

Shocked, I couldn’t understand how any one could bring this much dope down the sidewalk without getting caught? Neal says, " Cops man, the cops." Enough said, Neal lit up some gold and I tried my first and last joint.

No longer a virgin to marijuana, I decided to live and leave all these things with Neal and his business associates. It’s a good thing then, because later on, I learned from Timmy, Neal’s younger brother that Colombians just kill you on sight if they don’t like your looks. "It was an instant love or hate relationship that usually ended at first sight," says Timmy. In the mid 80’s when Timmy was 15 years old, he was recruited from Enterprise as a cocaine runner.

According to Timmy, they would meet their Colombian buddies for weekend fishing trips starting off at the Flamingo Bar, mid way down Alligator Alley in the Everglades. There they would take airboats out to staging areas and at the predetermined hour, money and cocaine fell from the sky in army duffel bags.

Back on land, this 15 year old kid was given a Smith and Wesson 45, a briefcase full on money, a new Cadillac filled to the brim with cocaine in the trunk and a map showing the route he must drive to Atlanta. Timmy worked that circuit for quite a few years until he started sampling the merchandise.

Later on Timmy was recruited locally, to load automatic weapons apparently stolen from Fort Rucker onto airplanes, and unload cocaine over at the Opp-Andalusia area some 45 miles to the west of Enterprise. Timmy refused to discuss that in detail, because he says the people involved owned the DEA and were more ruthless than the Colombians. My guess is that they were Oliver North’s Defense Intelligence Agency guys.

-- Inside the Dixie Mafia: Politics of Death, by John Caylor

On a smuggling run from Colombia, having dumped packages of cocaine off near Blairsville, Georgia, Thornton jumped from his auto-piloted Cessna 404.[4] In the September 11, 1985 jump, he was caught in his parachute and ended up in a free fall to the ground. His dead body was found in the back yard of Knoxville, Tennessee resident Fred Myers.[5] The plane crashed over 60 miles away in Hayesville, North Carolina.[6] At the time of his death Thornton was wearing night vision goggles, a bulletproof vest, Gucciloafers, and a green army duffel bag containing approximately 40 kilos (88 lbs.) of cocaine valued at $15 million, $4,500 in cash, two gold Krugerrands, knives, and two pistols.[7] Three months later, a deadblack bear was found in the Chattahoochee National Forest that had apparently overdosed on cocaine dropped by Thornton.[8]

The story of Thornton was examined in Dominick Dunne's Power, Privilege, and Justice and in Sally Denton's The Bluegrass Conspiracy.[9] Robert L. Williams, Cowboys Caravan, looks into the death of his son David, and his skydiving relationship with Thornton. Thornton was also detailed in a Discovery Channel double-length episode of The FBI Files named "Dangerous Company" in 2003.

His death also served as the inspiration for the story arc of season four of FX Network's Justified.
The beginning of episode one features a flashback to 1983 in which a male falls to his death, parachute still attached, with bricks of cocaine scattered around his body. The bag that had carried the cocaine becomes the focus of a mystery roughly 30 years later.

Known associates

Harold Brown, DEA agent
• Bradley F. Bryant, childhood friend and partner in "The Company"
William Taulbee Canan, former Lexington police officer
Dan Chandler, son of Kentucky Governor Albert Benjamin "Happy" Chandler, Sr.
• James Purdy Lambert, owner of Lexington's Library Lounge night club and friend and business associate of Governor John Y. Brown, Jr.
Henry S. Vance, staff member of Governor John Y. Brown, Jr.
• Wallace McClure Kelly AKA Mike Kelly -- deceased associate of Thornton's in Lexington.
• David "Cowboy" Williams, skydiver, good friend, alleged smuggler, died in plane crash, two weeks after Thornton.
• Rebecca Sharp, girlfriend and confidante of Andrew Thornton.
Derrick W. James, AKA "Rex", associate in Fort Lauderdale, arrested in December, 1982, for selling "lookout list" of the federal government. The "lookout list" consisted of three possible routes from South America to the United States: between Mexico and Cuba, between Cuba and Haiti, and between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. The documents at issue were marked "UNCLASSIFIED." After a guilty plea, he received a 10-year sentence for selling unclassified information. He served just under two years. He owned a transport business, called Cargo Dominica, which he operated from the Hotel Susserou in Roseau, Dominica.

External links

• Drew Thornton's Last Adventure published October 20, 1985 in the Washington Post


1. Cocaine-Carrying Chutist Was Ex-Policeman, Lawyer, Los Angeles Times, September 12, 1985, retrieved August 5, 2012
2. http://www.lfucg.com/police/index.asp
3. DeMott, John S. (1985-10-12), "Cocaine's Skydiving Smugglers", Time, p. 2
4. AP (1988-02-08), "Woman to Go on Trial As Smuggler's Helper", The New York Times, p. 1
5. "American Notes Drugs", Time, 1985-09-23, p. 1
6. National Transportation Safety Board (1985-09-11). "NTSB Accident Report Identification: ATL85LA273". NTSB. Retrieved 2007-02-17.
7. "'Bluegrass Conspiracy' tale never gets old". kentucky. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
8. "Cocaine and a Dead Bear", The New York Times, 1985-12-23, p. 1
9. Sally Denton, The Bluegrass Conspiracy: An Inside Story of Power Greed, Drugs and Murder, revised edition, Avon, 1990; Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2001.
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Re: Drew Thornton's Last Adventure, by Sally Ann Denton

Postby admin » Mon May 16, 2016 8:05 am

Cocaine-Carrying Chutist Was Ex-Policeman, Lawyer
by Associated Press
September 12, 1985



LEXINGTON, Ky. — Andrew Carter Thornton II, a former narcotics officer and suspended lawyer who plunged to his death from a plane holding cocaine with a street value of $14 million, had a history of drug and arms involvement across the nation.

"I'm glad his parachute didn't open. I hope he got a hell of a high out of that (cocaine)," said Brian Leighton, an assistant U.S. attorney in Fresno, Calif. He once prosecuted Thornton on a marijuana trafficking charge.

The body of Thornton, 40, a native of Paris, Ky., was found Wednesday on a driveway in Knoxville, Tenn. He was heavily armed, carried 77 pounds of cocaine in an Army duffel bag, and was attached to a parachute that had failed to open.

A key that investigators found on his body bore an identification number matching that of a plane that crashed while on autopilot earlier that morning, 60 miles away, Knoxville Detective Allen Hale said today.

Tennessee police believe he was supposed to meet someone on the ground to deliver the cocaine.

Knoxville Police Lt. Jerry Day described Thornton as "a kind of survivalist, an individual who was expecting trouble and ready for it."

Thornton, known to his friends as "Drew," served in the 101st Airborne Division in the mid-1960s, and was among soldiers sent to the Dominican Republic after a revolution. He was wounded and received a Purple Heart.

"He was an expert sky diver and the type of guy who wouldn't even let anyone touch his pack. He was a fanatic" about his equipment, said a friend in Lexington.

He joined the Lexington police in 1968 and stayed for nine years. In 1981, the Lexington Herald quoted sources as saying Thornton had set up the department's intelligence squad.

Police Chief John McFadden verified that Thornton served on the department's narcotics squad from 1970 to 1973. He described him as an average officer and said he had worked his way through law school at the University of Kentucky while on the force.

After resigning in 1977, Thornton practiced law in Lexington.

Four years later he was among 25 men accused in Fresno, Calif., in a theft of weapons from the China Lake Naval Weapons Center and of conspiring to smuggle 1,000 pounds of marijuana into the United States.

Numerous news reports in 1981 and 1982 linked the ring, which included several former Lexington policemen and other Kentuckians, to a larger group known as "The Company."

The larger group was described by a 1980 federal indictment in East St. Louis, Ill., as a dope- and gun-running syndicate with more than 300 members and $26 million in boats and planes.

Thornton wasn't charged in the China Lake weapons case, but was indicted at Fresno on one count of conspiracy to import a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. The indictment said the charges involved the flight of a plane on a drug run from South America to Kentucky in 1979. He was named as the pilot.

Thornton left California after pleading innocent and was arrested as a fugitive in North Carolina, wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a pistol.

He pleaded no contest at Fresno to a misdemeanor drug charge and the felony charges were dropped.

He was sentenced to six months in prison, fined $500 and placed on probation for five years, and his law license was suspended.

Thornton "was one of the smartest fellows I ever met," said a friend. "In school he did very well. He came from a very good family and had everything in the world going for him."
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Re: Drew Thornton's Last Adventure, by Sally Ann Denton

Postby admin » Mon May 16, 2016 8:51 am

Woman to Go on Trial As Smuggler's Helper
by AP
February 8, 1988



KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 7— Nearly two and a half years after a daredevil cocaine smuggler fell to his death on a driveway here when his parachute failed, a woman accused of being his accomplice is going on trial on drug charges.

Agents linked the parachutist, Andrew Carter Thornton 2d, to nearly 300 pounds of Colombian cocaine strewn from a plane across eastern Tennessee and northern Georgia. Bags of the drug were tied to his waist.

''It was an unusual case,'' said Tony Acri, assistant special agent in the Atlanta office of the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

''The fact that Thornton parachuted in carrying the dope -- we haven't seen that before,'' he said.

Two people were indicted on charges of conspiring with Mr. Thornton, once a narcotics officer in Lexington, Ky., to import about 880 pounds of cocaine.

One of the two is Rebecca Sharp, a 32-year-old paralegal from Lexington, Ky, who is free on a $50,000 bond. She faces up to 70 years in prison and a $780,000 fine if convicted. The second person accused of being an accomplice, Ruben Soto, is a fugitive.

Ms. Sharp's trial is scheduled to begin March 1.
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Re: Drew Thornton's Last Adventure, by Sally Ann Denton

Postby admin » Mon May 16, 2016 8:59 am

'Bluegrass Conspiracy' tale never gets old: Twenty-five years ago this day, an old man who lived in a tree-filled neighborhood in Knoxville woke up to find a dead man in his driveway. It was the body of Andrew Carter Thornton II, a former Lexington narcotics officer who turned to dealing drugs.
by Jack Brammer
September 11, 2010



Police recovered the body of Kentucky native Drew Thornton from a Knoxville yard on Sept. 11, 1985, after Thornton parachuted out of a plane to his death with 77 pounds of cocaine strapped to his back. The Knoxville News-Sentinel

Drew Thornton, shown in an undated photo. In 1985, Thornton parachuted out of a plane to his death with 77 pounds of cocaine strapped to his back. Lexington Herald-Leader

Twenty-five years ago this day, an old man who lived in a tree-filled neighborhood in Knoxville woke up to find a dead man in his driveway.

It was the body of Andrew Carter Thornton II, a former Lexington narcotics officer who turned to dealing drugs.

On Thornton were about 75 pounds of cocaine, $4,800 in cash, two automatic weapons, several knives, rope, night-vision goggles, six Krugerrands and keys to a plane.

He wore combat-style fatigues, a bulletproof vest and expensive Italian shoes.

Thornton, 40, died when his parachute failed. His neck broke but cause of death was listed as a ruptured aorta.

The plane in which Thornton was flying was discovered a few hours later crashed in a rugged mountainous area of North Carolina. It was unoccupied. No flight plan had been filed for it.

The shocking death and plane crash brought to light revelations — and allegations — about a scandal involving cops, politicians and high society in Central Kentucky with drugs, weapons and murder.

The scandal produced a book in 1989, The Bluegrass Conspiracy, that drew raves and jeers with big sales.

It still sells well.

Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington reported this week that 385 copies of the book have sold this calendar year at the store — 15 so far this month.

Overall, it has sold about 30,000 in hardcover. About 196,000 copies have been sold in paperback.

Sally Denton, author of The Bluegrass Conspiracy. Photo provided by Sally Denton

The author of the book, Sally Denton, said she is not surprised that the public is still buying the book.

"It's an amazing story, an amazing drama with really colorful characters," Denton, now an author in Washington, D.C., working on her seventh book, said in a telephone interview this week.

She said The Bluegrass Conspiracy will be launched as an e-book on Kindle and iBook in a couple of weeks and "some interested people" have renewed an option on the book to write a screenplay to make a movie.

Denton had met Thornton when she worked as an investigative reporter for Lexington's WKYT-TV from 1980 to 1983.

While at the station, she worked on several reports about corruption in the Lexington police force, particularly in the narcotics division.

On the day Thornton died on Sept. 11, 1985, Denton was at a bar in New Orleans. She learned of the unusual death from a TV news show.

At the time, Denton, who had interned for nationally known investigative journalist Jack Anderson, was working in a private investigations firm in Washington, D.C.

Shortly after Thornton's death, The Washington Post asked her to write an article about him. In 1987, several literary agents pursued her to write a book. She spent two years on it.

The book became extremely popular in Central Kentucky. "It also sold well in Las Vegas, for some strange reason," Denton said.

There was criticism of the book.

John S. Carroll, then editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader, wrote that it "blends fact, rumor and fiction with a recklessness that is breathtaking."

In a review of the book, Carroll also noted Denton's writing style, offering a few samples without comment. They included:

"The nubile beauties lured the politicians to hotel rooms that had been wired for sound and equipped with hidden cameras."

"He was wearing combat-style fatigues and expensive Italian shoes — a seeming non sequitur to those getting their first glimpse into the bizarre world of the sexy, madcap Kentucky blueblood."

Carroll's criticism "stung at the time, made me angry," Denton said.

"But now I consider John a friend of mine. I tremendously admire all he has done for journalism.

"In retrospect, I think he was a bit embarrassed that the Lexington Herald-Leader had ignored the story, had not done enough on the Lexington police force.

"He also criticized my writing, my syntax. I regret that I was not eloquent in syntax, but I was young and that was my first book. I believe I have improved."

Carroll, who retired as editor of the Los Angeles Times and moved back to Lexington, said Friday that he was critical of Denton's book, "but I've got to admit that it dealt with an important story and did so in a way that's had an enduring impact.

"On balance, I think the book was a positive event for the community because it alerted people to a series of dangerous and corrupt events that hadn't been given their due in the media, including the Herald-Leader."

Carroll said Denton "did a good job of digging, but I also thought the package in which she wrapped her findings was a bit too simple and neat. The truth, I suspect, was more complicated."

Carroll added that he "probably ought to read the book again."

In 1989, Carroll oversaw a series in the Herald-Leader written by reporter Valarie Honeycutt Spears about the drug culture in Lexington since the 1960s. He called the events described in the "Birds of a Feather" series "a community tragedy."

Denton said she has no regrets about her book and noted that no one ever filed a lawsuit on any of its contents.

Ken Kurtz, who hired Denton at WKYT and was the TV station's news director, said this week that "the vast majority of Denton's book has been borne out.

"Maybe there were some things in the book that Sally went overboard on, but she updated and revised it in later editions," he said.

Kurtz added, "She captured the essence of a powerfully dramatic story."

It's a story that still reverberates in Central Kentucky, he said.
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